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Kristin: are you there?(3 posts)

Kristin: are you there?ET
Mar 6, 2001 5:09 AM
Hope you're reading this. I saw your last post on the other forum where you decided against both the Schwinn and the Lemond, and that you were gonna try a Bianchi. Well, the Bianchi too has a very long top tube for its true size (that is, Bianchi measures its seat tube as c-t where t is top of seat tube lug, so that when measured c-t where t is top of top tube, it is really a much smaller size, and hence has a much longer top tube for a standardized seat tube size). I believe you said you were more leg and less torso, so that sounds like you're going in the wrong direction. I wanted to suggest that rather than kind of randomly trying bikes, a better approach might be to zone in on what will work for you, which will help limit your choices.

The right starting point is to zone in on your seat tube angle. Try a few bikes and see which ones put you close to the middle of the seat rails (this is more or less independent of reach; it has much more to do with your natural pedalling position, i.e. where you more or less reach your knee-over-pedal at 3:00). Then make a note of the seat tube angle specs for that bike in the catalog or web site. This will give you a seat tube angle for your size, so limit your bike search to companies whose angles come out close. Next test-ride bikes to see how the top tube and reach feel. You should have around 1.25 to 2 inches of standover clearance to a snug inseam (but do not rely on catalogs or web sites for standover, as they are notoriously wrong). Way less clearance is dangerous, way more and you may have trouble building up the stem to a height that is comfortable (mistaken purchases often result from that misleading seat tube sizing which is so prominent). Make a note of the top tube specs and stem size for those which were close. (Hopefully the LBS will not mislead you on what is a standard stem size for your dimensions.) You may have to go to a few bike shops further away from home to sample enough bikes. Alternatively, you can get something like a Serotta size cycle fitting to zone in on your measurements; offsetting the perhaps $100 fee is that you'll only have to do it once in your life and it will minimize the risk of your getting a very ill-fitting bike.

So in short, first find your seat angle, then top tube for appropriate seat tube size (one giving around the right standover). These rules may have to be modified if you are considering compact bikes with sloping top tubes.
Fit Kit System vs. Serotta Fit... Opinions PleezeKristin
Mar 7, 2001 6:24 AM
Okay, since the chance is slim that I'll come to understanding bike geometry before the mecury reaches 70, I've decided (per your advice) to get fit pre-purchase.

I located two dealers who do this. One does Serotta and the other Fit Kit System ( The Fit Kit guy has been using the oak box since its birth and was certified in Boston. He was also personally recommended to me by two people. The Serotta guy is also certified and seems extremely knowledgeable. So my question is which system is better to use and why?

Eeks... I think I'll be recieving a visit from Captain Alphabet.
Fit Kit System vs. Serotta Fit... Opinions PleezeAndy M-S
Mar 7, 2001 8:34 AM

Realizing (a) that you're on a budget, and (b) this is a first 'real' road bike purchase, you have some options. You could get fit by one or the other and take that as a starting point. Or you could get fit by BOTH and use that to sort of 'triangulate' on your size. Or you could just test ride until you find one that's comfortable.

The problem with the fitting systems, it seems to me, is that your position on a bike is in part a learned thing, it's not just a function of arm/body/leg length, etc. You need to get fit for the way you ride.

If getting fit is not too expensive, go for it (if it isn't costly, I'd go for BOTH fittings, and see how well they agreed). If it's going to cut into how much you can spend on the bike, then just find a reasonable, comfortable bike and ride it (making adjustments as you go).

In any event, good luck!